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Steering Committee

Elaine Thornton

Open Education & Distance Learning Librarian, University of Arkansas

Elaine Thornton is the Open Education & Distance Learning librarian at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR.  In this position, Elaine leads campus open education initiatives.  Her work includes building and strengthening partnerships with campus stakeholders, serving as project manager for funded library led OER publishing projects, directing the funded OER course conversion program, and leading advocacy efforts. In her current position, she advocates for and facilitates OER expansion and use in distance and online learning through her work with campus instructional designers.  She created and co-teaches an annual spring faculty Affordable/ OER training workshop for the University of Arkansas faculty. Additionally, she serves on the Open Education Southern Symposium (OESS) Board and Planning Team.  

Elaine is active in the ACRL-Distance and Online Learning Section (DOLS), having served on the DOLS executive committee and as the Standards for Distance Learning Library Services committee co-chair. She currently serves as an instructor in the Open Education Network’s (OEN) OER Librarian certificate program. She is also a member of the International Journal of Open Educational Resources editorial peer review board.   

A 2017-18 SPARC Open Education Leadership Program Fellow, and 2018-19 program mentor,  Elaine earned a BA in history from the University of Oklahoma, an MA in history from the University of Michigan, an MS in library science from the University of North Texas, and is currently a doctoral candidate in education at the University of Arkansas. Her doctoral research focuses on OER leadership.  Before her appointment at Arkansas, she was an associate professor at Texas A & M University Libraries.

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